As I lay in bed this morning, I hear the ting of my coffee cup being set down on the coffee table. My husband has set it there for me at my usual spot. That’s my cue to get up.
It’s more than just a cup of coffee. It’s a ritual my husband and I have kept for over 30 years. The cup of coffee symbolizes kindness and the special things we do for one another on a day-to-day basis. It’s a representation of the time we spend together.
Mornings became our time very early in our marriage. We found that each morning was precious, still, and quiet before the children got up and the day began. It was time spent peacefully together. Sometimes we planned the day’s events or shared stories we didn’t tell in front of our kids. Sometimes we watched the news and discussed world issues.
We each have a role to play in this ritual. Making the coffee at night is my contribution. I make it at night, and he pours it in the morning. We try to never miss this time together. There are some days when one of us doesn’t have to work, but we still get up with each other to have that time together. Sometimes in the spring and summer we are able to have our coffee outside where we will often talk about future plans of remodeling or vacationing. We have never wanted to have coffee time without each other. In fact, if he’s out of town, I might send him a picture of his spot telling him that I miss him and wish I was having coffee with him. If I’m out of town, he usually doesn’t make coffee, not wanting to drink it alone.
Why is this important? It is more than a cup of coffee shared each day - it is how we greet the day with positivity and begin by treating each other with kindness and love. We, like many couples, have rituals that show each other kindness. We work to recognize, respect, and appreciate time together. Treasuring the moments that make us a couple and keep us a couple takes effort, and we know that.
Have there been times when we disagreed? Have there been times when we weren’t thrilled with a decision or reaction? Yes, of course. But we hold this ritual as the foundation of our relationship. We know that we have to keep the foundation strong because there are going to be storms in our lives. Together we have to be solid to withstand them. We have coffee despite negative feelings and strive to work through any issues in that alone time. It usually works because we try to listen to one another and compromise. Sometimes it takes two coffee mornings to resolve big issues, but we continue to work on them.
What I have learned: Small rituals, like having coffee together, can build a foundation for a long, enjoyable, and healthy relationship.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.